Double or Nothing Patterns: Abaciscus

Today I’m starting a new weekly post series! For the next 14 weeks, I’m going to post 1 pattern from my new book (in order of appearance) until they’re all posted. As I post them, I’m going to drop them into my Ravelry projects, my Instagram feed, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. What I’m trying to do is to get people to join my Double Or Nothing preorder mailing list. This is a list which will be used once or twice as soon as I’m ready to take preorders for the book, and then deleted — so you’re not going to get spammed. Also, please feel free to share this post or any of the places it shows up on social media. This isn’t private; I want as many people to hear about it as possible!

Of course, I’m going to let everyone know about the preorders eventually. So why join this list? I’m glad you asked! First, this will be the first list that will hear about the preorder availability. Second, I’ll ship roughly in the same order I receive orders, so the sooner you hear about it, the sooner you can order and the sooner you’ll get the book. Third and possibly most important, if this list reaches a pre-selected arbitrary number of members, I will sweeten the deal for members of this list only (the reward is kept purposely vague so I can decide exactly what it will be later).


Abaciscus is worked in Dirty Water Dyeworks Clara, a 100% Blue Faced Leicester worsted-weight wool.

Abaciscus-GZWhen I’m working on a new idea, sometimes I’ll open a new file in Illustrator to start playing with shapes and see how they interrelate. In this case, I was playing with a hollow oblong, and how it could be made to look like it was linking up with others like it. As the tiling progressed, I was reminded of a carved Chinese wooden screen. My father lived in Taiwan for about a decade when I was in my adolescence, and when he finally came back he had a new wife, fluency in several Chinese dialects, and a large collection of Chinese art including a number of these screens which he mounted in his windows. So when I cast about for a name for the new cowl pattern, I wanted a Chinese word. The working title was “Yingzao” which refers to a sort of ancient building-standards manual. But here’s the thing about Chinese — a word’s meaning can change depending on inflection. I didn’t know the correct inflection and I didn’t want to be caught saying (or making you say) something rude or nonsensical due to the wrong inflection — so I put out a call for naming suggestions. The winner was Nathan Taylor (aka sockmatician) with “Abaciscus” so that’ll be the name going forward.


Something I’m doing differently in Double Or Nothing than I did in Extreme Double-Knitting is that I’m trying to use yarn I’m really excited about for some reason, not just yarn that’s easy to get. If I understand my audience as I think I do, you’re not the type of people to be put off if you can’t get the exact yarn in the exact colors I knit it in. You’re willing to go to some length to use awesome yarn, but you’re also willing to substitute when necessary. So I’m going to talk up the yarns I chose — with the hopes that you’ll also get excited about them, search them out and use them. But I’ll understand if you don’t.

One of mAbaciscus-AWy tenets is “buy local” whenever possible. That doesn’t mean I never order stuff from Amazon, but if it’s something I can get from a local business I try to do so. It also means that if I know someone who, like me, is trying to keep a small craft-based business afloat, I keep them in mind when I’m deciding on those sorts of materials or products. Dirty Water Dyeworks is one such company. Stephanie has been an active member of the Common Cod Fiber Guild, which I cofounded with a couple of friends back in 2008, for quite some time and it’s been great to watch her build her business from a small Boston-area brand to a yarn line popular all over New England and beyond. Unlike many up-and-coming indie dyers, Dirty Water branches out of the solely Superwash Merino blends and takes risks with breed-specific wools as well. Granted, it’s not much of a risk — people are getting more and more into yarns from breeds like Cormo, Polwarth, Targhee, and Blue Faced Leicester (or BFL for short). The yarn I chose for this pattern is one such 100% BFL base, and the lovely hand and slight shimmer are more than enough reason to search out this or some other worsted-weight BFL.

Interested in this pattern? It’ll be coming out in my new book “Double Or Nothing: Reversible Knitwear For The Adventurous” in December of 2016. Get the news first when it’s ready for preorder by joining the mailing list! Thanks!

One thought on “Double or Nothing Patterns: Abaciscus”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.